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  • Newbie looking for advice

    Hey Guys,

    I'm new to this forum and new to candle making, but can someone tell me why sometimes my paraffin wax remains translucent, and sometimes it goes cloudy? Also, is soy wax easier to work with?

    Any and all hints and tips are very welcome!

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum.

    Paraffin is a crystalline wax which can be broken down by heat. It sounds like you have over heated the wax during melting, If you don't have one already, I strongly suggest getting a thermometer to check the temperatures.

    Personally I find paraffin much easier to work with and in most cases gives nicer results, I know a few others on here will agree, but most will suggest soy. Best option would be to get a small amount of both and see which you prefer.
    David Bolger - CEO of Endless Green Group Ltd
    Retailer, Distributor and Manufacturer of Hobby, Craft and Pastime supplies

    Candle Making Supplies
    http://www.thatflamingcandlecompany.com


    Bolgers Woodworking Supplies
    http://www.bolgers.co.uk

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    • #3
      Hi Karen
      Welcome to the forum! Can't add anything to the excellent advice Candleman has already given. Just wanted to say hi!

      Isabel

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      • #4
        Originally posted by CandleMan View Post
        Welcome to the forum.

        Paraffin is a crystalline wax which can be broken down by heat. It sounds like you have over heated the wax during melting, If you don't have one already, I strongly suggest getting a thermometer to check the temperatures.

        Personally I find paraffin much easier to work with and in most cases gives nicer results, I know a few others on here will agree, but most will suggest soy. Best option would be to get a small amount of both and see which you prefer.
        Thank you for your help - I did use a sugar thermometer which indicated that the temp was ok - but maybe I need a newer one! I wondered if it was because I reheated it to top up the candle. Also, is there any way to prevent the wax from deforming around the wick as it cools and shrinks?

        I've got some soy wax coming so I'll see how that works.

        Now I'm off to check out your website!

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Isabel,

          Nice to meet you!

          Karen

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          • #6
            Hi Karen,

            Welcome to the forum, have to say this is the best place for getting advice on candle making, no matter how odd you think you're question is the guys and girls always have an answer

            Audrey

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            • #7
              Thanks Audrey

              Nice to meet you!

              Karen

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              • #8
                Hi Karen, and welcome to the madhouse... I mean, welcome to the world of candles and this forum.
                I'm sure you'll enjoy your stay at both.

                I've been making candles for a number of years and predominantly use paraffin (I'm one of those that CandleMan said would agree it's easier to work with ) but I've never had it go cloudy. I have heard of it happening and the cause has usually been either overheating of the wax itself (although you have to heat it very high to have that happen, or a fragrance oil being overheated in the wax.

                As far as hints and tips are concerned:

                1) Read - As much as you can, online, down the library, anywhere you possibly can. BUT, be wary that there is some bad advice out there too, so use your common sense when deciding what's worth a try and what's well worth avoiding like the plague. (see point 2!)

                2) Ask - You've found yourself a talented bunch of chandlers all contained in one forum. Any questions you may feel embarrassed to ask in case the answer is so obvious, or questions that you think a little to far out there that nobody will know the answer, or anything in between that you don't know the answer to, just ask because you can almost guarantee that at least half of us have asked the same question before and someone WILL know the answer.

                3) Try - Don't be afraid to experiment, but always within safety parameters of course. Experimenting is the best way of learning. If something doesn't work, you'll know not to try it again. And if it does work, then that'll be something else to add to your notebook(s) of bumpf that will quickly build up.

                4) Be prepared - to spend large amounts of money perfecting the craft you're about to embark on and purchasing lots and lots of fun stuff that you will convince yourself you will use at some point, even if you don't yet know what for or when!

                5) Have fun! - No further comment needed on that one. Just enjoy it.

                Look forward to hearing about your journey into this (oft described as "dark") art and seeing what you create

                Spencer.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hello Karen and welcome to the forum!

                  This is the most supportive, helpful place - feel free to ask anything at all and someone usually knows the answer. Best of luck with your candles.

                  Marion

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                  • #10
                    Hi Karen! Welcome!!!

                    You will find all manner of advice on here and the best advice I can give you is to read this forum right through- I cannot tell you how helpful that was when I started!! A wealth of knowledge and as spencer said ask away- someone will know the answer and we are a friendly bunch!!

                    C

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                    • #11
                      Hey Spencer,

                      Thanks for the tips! Can you tell me if it's ok to reheat paraffin wax that has gone cloudy? Earlier info suggested that it's because it has crystalised - if I reheat it will it uncrystalised? Or, do I just have to ditch what I've done and start again?

                      Karen

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KarenBee View Post
                        Hey Spencer,

                        Thanks for the tips! Can you tell me if it's ok to reheat paraffin wax that has gone cloudy? Earlier info suggested that it's because it has crystalised - if I reheat it will it uncrystalised? Or, do I just have to ditch what I've done and start again?

                        Karen
                        My only advice on that would be to give it a go. As I said, I've never had wax go cloudy myself so and without seeing the wax it's hard to say if it's only fit for landfill or if you can rescue it.

                        There are many questions that would help point in the right direction for an answer on this....

                        How much wax are we talking about?
                        How were you heating it? In a double boiler (or makeshift one at least)? (Hopefully not on a direct heat)
                        Was it straight paraffin or were there additives too? FO/EO, stearin, vybar etc.
                        Was it container blend or pillar blend?
                        How long was it heated for and do you know what the max temp it reached was?
                        Is it actually cloudy when it's melted or just when cooling?

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                        • #13
                          OK, didn't weigh the wax, I just used 3 x the container (smallish glass - not as small as a votive glass - maybe a small whisky glass). I heated it in a glass bowl over simmering water. I don't know about additives - and I've thrown out the label so I can't check - as for blend, see previous answer. It was heated until it melted and what I didn't use I kept warm (sitting in the hot water but without any heat underneath) in case I needed it for topping up (though the original melt was what went cloudy/frost/opaque) don't know if I can post a photo. It's going cloudy when it cools and is fine when it melted.

                          So as you can see, complete novice (and note to self to keep records of what I do!)

                          Does any of this help?

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                          • #14
                            Sounds to me like it's doing exactly what it's meant to do. When melted it's clear and as it cools it goes opaque. Perfectly normal. Melt it down again without problem

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                            • #15
                              Thank you Spencer, I'll give it a go!

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